Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Prohibition Policy

Employees, students, applicants or other members of the College community (including but not limited to vendors, visitors, and guests) may not be subjected to sexual violence, harassment, or discrimination that is prohibited by law, or treated adversely or retaliated against.  The College is committed to fostering a community that promotes prompt reporting of all types of sexual misconduct including sexual violence, harassment, and discrimination, and ensures timely and fair resolution of sexual misconduct and harassment complaints. It is the intention of the College to take appropriate action to end the misconduct, prevent its reoccurrence and address its effect. 

Responsibility to Report

All members of the College Community are required to report, at the time they become aware of, concerns expressed to them by an alleged victim of sexual harassment / gender discrimination, whether direct or third party, to the Affirmative Action Officer, 315-786-2401, or Title IX Coordinator.

Confidentiality

Certain college employees, such as the Affirmative Action Officer, Title IX Coordinator, managers, supervisors, and other designated employees have an obligation to respond to reports of sexual misconduct, sexual violence and/or harassment, even if the individual making the report requests that no action be taken. An individual’s request regarding the confidentiality of reports of sexual misconduct will be considered in determining an appropriate response; however, such requests will be considered in the dual contexts of the College’s legal obligation to ensure a working and learning environment free from violence and harassment and the due process rights of the accused to be informed of the allegations and their source. Some level of disclosure may be necessary to ensure a complete and fair investigation, although the College will comply with requests for confidentiality to the extent possible. 

Informal Complaint Resolution Procedure

If an employee or student feels that he/she has been a victim of any form of sexual misconduct /sexual violence / sexual harassment / gender discrimination, the incident(s) should be addressed informally with the alleged harasser, the Affirmative Action Officer, or Title IX Coordinator. These discussions will be handled in a professional and confidential manner. If appropriate, an attempt will be made to resolve the problem through informal procedures.

Formal Grievance Procedure

If a complaint is filed with the Affirmative Action Officer or Title IX Coordinator and an informal inquiry indicates that a charge is unlikely to be resolved informally, or an attempt at informal resolution is unsuccessful, then the College may institute more formal procedures.

Retaliation

Threats or other forms of intimidation and retaliation against a complainant or any other party reporting or acting pursuant to this policy are violations of this policy, and constitute grounds for disciplinary action.

False Statement

Complaints of sexual misconduct including but not limited to sexual violence, sexual harassment and other forms of gender discrimination cannot always be substantiated. Lack of corroborating evidence should not discourage complainants from seeking relief through the procedures outlined above. However, charges found to have been intentionally dishonest or made maliciously without regard for truth will subject complainants to disciplinary action.

Prevention Through Education and Information

The College offers to new students and employees educational programs to promote the awareness of sexual misconduct and sexual violence, rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, which shall include primary prevention and awareness programs for incoming students and new employees, as well as ongoing prevention and awareness programs for students and employees.

Specifically, these education and informational programs include, but are not be limited to, the following subjects:

  1. the definition of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in its jurisdiction;
  2. a statement that the institution prohibits these offenses;
  3. the applicable state laws, ordinances, and regulations regarding sex offenses;
    1. the penalties under state law for commission of sex offenses as well as on-campus disciplinary sanctions for the same;
    2. the procedures in effect at the College for dealing with sex offenses;
    3. the definition of consent in reference to sexual activity;
    4. information on risk reduction to recognize warning signs of abusive behavior;
    5. strategies intended to stop domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking before it occurs through the changing of social norms and other approaches;
    6. safe and positive options for bystander intervention;
      1. the availability of counseling and other support services for the victims of sex offenses on campus and off-campus;
      2. the nature of and common circumstances relating to sex offenses on campuses; and
      3. the methods the College employs to advise and to update the campus about security procedures.

Definitions

Sexual Misconduct / Sexual Violence: Sexual misconduct and sexual violence refer to any sexual act that is perpetrated against someone's will. Sexual misconduct and sexual violence encompass a range of offenses, including sexual assault (i.e., rape), abusive sexual contact (i.e., unwanted touching), and non-contact sexual abuse (e.g., threatened sexual violence, exhibitionism, sexual harassment).  All types involve victims who do not consent or who are unable to consent.

Sexual Harassment: Sexually harassing behavior includes unwelcome verbal or physical conduct, which is sexually offensive. Sexually offensive conduct may include sexual flirtations or touching, verbal abuse of a suggestive nature, graphic  or suggestive comments about  an individual’s dress or body, use of sexually degrading words to describe an individual, the display in the work place of sexually suggestive objects or pictures. According to current federal, state and SUNY guidelines, sexual harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination. 

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or of a student’s evaluation;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions or student evaluations affecting such individual; or
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s (employee or student) performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Sexually-based harassment can include interactions in person, by phone, electronic messages and photos, written words or images such as graffiti and social media postings.

A single isolated incident of sexual harassment may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe.  The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a pattern of incidents for a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical. 

Sexual harassment will be distinguished from behavior which, even though unpleasant or disconcerting, is appropriate to the carrying out of instructional, advisory, or supervisory responsibilities. Instructional responsibilities, in particular, require appropriate latitude for pedagogical decisions concerning the topics discussed and methods used to draw students into discussion and full participation.

Abusive Sexual Contact: Intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of any person without his or her consent, of a person who is unable to consent or refuse.  The intent is to sexually exploit rather than to harm or debilitate.

Sexual Assault: Having or attempting to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact with another individual without consent.  This includes sexual intercourse or sexual contact achieved by the use or threat of force or coercion, where an individual does not consent to the sexual act, or where an individual is incapacitated.  Sexual assault may involve individuals who are known to one another or have an intimate and/or sexual relationship, or may involve individuals not known to one another.

Sexual Exploitation: When an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another, for his/her own benefit; or to benefit anyone other than the one being exploited; and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.

Gender-Based Harassment: Sexual harassment also includes gender-based harassment including harassment based upon an individual’s perceived or actual gender identity or sexual orientation, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

College personnel shall not on the basis of a person’s gender, sexual orientation or gender identity:

  1. Treat one person differently from another in determining whether such person satisfies any requirement or condition for the provision of such aid, benefit, or service;
  2. Provide different aid, benefits, or services or provide aid, benefits, or services in a different manner;
  3. Subject any person to separate or different rules or behavior, sanctions, or other treatment;
  4. Otherwise limit any person in the enjoyment of any right, privilege, advantage, or opportunity.

Stalking: Stalking is the unwanted pursuit of another person. It includes repeated harassing or threatening behavior toward another person, whether that person is a total stranger, slight acquaintance, current or former intimate partner, or anyone else.

Consent: Sexual activity requires consent, which is defined as positive, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement to engage in specific sexual activity throughout a sexual encounter.

In New York State, someone cannot give consent if he/she is:

  • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Unconscious or physically incapacitated
  • Mentally disabled or mentally incapacitated
  • Less than 17 years old
  • Forced, coerced, threatened or intimidated verbally or physically

 

Questions regarding the application of this policy may be directed to the College’s Title IX Coordinator and/or Affirmative Action Officer, 315-786-2401. Inquiries may also be directed to the United States Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights,32 Old Slip 26th Floor, New York, NY 10005-2500; Tel. (646) 428-3900; TDD: 800-877-8339, Email OCR.NewYork@ed.gov.